1 And it came to pass, that when Isaac was old, and his eyes were dim, so that he could not see, he called Esau his eldest son, and said unto him, My son: and he said unto him, Behold, here am I.

Isaac's eyes dim.

Isaac's eyes were dim (physically and spiritually), and he felt he was near death (he was mistaken here), so the time had come, urgently as he thought, to give a blessing to Esau, the eldest, and Isaac's favourite. Whereas Jacob was Rebekah's favourite, primarily because she saw that he was the godly seed of Promise, and that the blessing should go to him.

Isaac was deceived by Esau, probably because he was manly and physically powerful. If he had been reasoning spiritually, he would have seen that Jacob was the godly person, and Esau a man of the flesh. Esau had already taken two daughters of the Hittites to wed, who were a grief of mind to his parents (Gen.26.34,35).

This alone, testified to Esau's character, attracted by flashy worldly women (Gen.6.1 ,2), governed by selfish fleshly instincts and considerations, rather than divine principles. Many are in this state of spiritual dimness or part blindness which can develop into out and out Apostasy or rebellion (Jhn,9:39-41, Rom 11.25).

Bro Richard Lister -

The Apocalyptic Messenger, Oct 2016

3 Now therefore take, I pray thee, thy weapons, thy quiver and thy bow, and go out to the field, and take me some venison;

4 And make me savoury meat, such as I love, and bring it to me, that I may eat; that my soul may bless thee before I die.

Take me some venison.

Isaac's perceptions were strongly influenced by his senses, his carnal appetites, "savoury meat such as I love". He was also dazzled by Esau's prowess with the bow, his hunting skills "take thy weapons, thy quiver, and thy bow."

Such misguided feelings towards offspring can easily subvert the Truth and spiritual perceptions, where the flesh is getting the upper hand in the conflict with Diabolos. This is a gradual process of weakening and compromise, ceding ground to the flesh.

Obey my voice, Rebekah overhears the conversation, and immediately instructs Jacob to obey her voice. This may sound domineering, but Rebekah recognised the urgency of the situation - that if they didn't act fast, Esau would return, and if caught would kill them. She therefore acted in great faith knowing the risks. And this is what faith is, acting in spite of risk, in faith to defend the Truth.

Bro Richard Lister -

The Apocalyptic Messenger, Oct 2016

10 And thou shalt bring it to thy father, that he may eat, and that he may bless thee before his death.

When Esau was forty years old he married two Hittite women, who were a grief of mind to both his parents. About thirty years after this, when Isaac was one hundred and thirty one, he determined to bestow his blessing upon Esau, although he had sold his birthright.

But the faithful vigilance of Rebekah circumvented it.

The, elder was to serve the younger, and she intended that Isaac's blessing should take that direction

Elpis Israel 2.3.

12 My father peradventure will feel me, and I shall seem to him as a deceiver; and I shall bring a curse upon me, and not a blessing.

The transfer of the birthright from Esau to Jacob brought the situation more into harmony with the purpose of God; but there was a remaining obstacle. Isaac loved Esau, as we have seen, and this love prompted him to resolve on bestowing his parting blessing on his elder son. There was more in this than we can know. It might seem as if it were a matter of indifference what any man might utter, in the way of benediction, if the will of God were opposed to the blessing; but when we are dealing with men on whom the Spirit of God rested, and whose volitions may, to some extent, have controlled its effects, we are really dealing with the working out of the will of God by some hidden law which we cannot understand, as merely natural men, but which we may see quite into when we ourselves have passed out of the animal into the spiritual state, if it please God to grant us that great blessedness in Christ.

At all events, it became a matter of importance that Isaac should be diverted from a purpose which was due to his likings, as a natural man, rather than to his understanding of the purpose announced to Rebekah concerning their two sons. Rebekah was herself made use of to frustrate Isaac's intentions. Some say that if Rebekah had waited, God would have interposed in some other way to bring Isaac's blessing upon Jacob. It may be so; but there is no intimation of this in the testimony. The crisis was at hand. Isaac called Esau, his eldest son, and said unto him:

"My son; and he said unto him, Behold here am I. And he said: Behold, now, I am old; I know not the day of my death. Now, therefore, take, I pray thee, thy weapons, take thy quiver and thy bow, and go out into the field, and take me some venison. And make savoury meat, such as I love, and bring it to me that I may eat, that my soul may bless thee before I die" (Genesis 27:1-4).

Esau having received this express and interesting direction, went immediately out to carry it into effect. Rebekah was a witness to what had passed. She was greatly exercised by it. If Esau returns successful, as he is likely to do, the blessings which belongs to the younger will be obtained by the elder, in opposition to what had been told to her of the Lord before the birth of the children. She resolves to take upon herself the responsibility of coming between Isaac and the fulfilment of his intentions.

Who shall say she was not stirred up to defeat a merely natural partiality of Isaac's? She informs Jacob of what was pending, and directs him to bring to her two of the kids from the flock that she may dress them in the manner that his father liked. With these, she sends Jacob into the presence of his father, who was blind from age; and representing himself as Esau, his father having eaten, bestows upon him the blessing which was his by the divine purpose and the purchased birthright.

"Let people serve thee, and nations bow down to thee. Be lord over thy brethren, and let thy mother's sons bow down to thee. Cursed be every one that curseth thee and blessed be he that blesseth thee."

The only difficult feature of the case is the deception by which the blessing was diverted. Some easement on this point may be obtained by realising that God may do what man must not do if God forbid. To man it is a command, "Thou shalt not kill," and to kill in disobedience of this, is murder; but God may kill without unrighteousness, as He says,

"I kill and I make alive. . . . Neither is there any that can deliver out of Mine hand" (Deut. 32:38).

To us it is sin to avenge ourselves, because of the command, "Avenge not yourselves"; but-

"Is God unrighteous who taketh vengeance? God forbid: for then how should God judge the world?" (Rom. 3:6).

He says-

"Vengeance is Mine: I will repay" (Deut. 32:43).

So on the subject of deception in all normal relations,

"God is a God of truth and there is no unrighteousness in Him" (verse 4);

But when circumstances call for it, He may, as a man without unrighteousness deceives a wild beast, to its capture and destruction, "send strong delusion" upon the perverse, "that they may believe a lie" (2 Thess. 2:11). On this principle we read,

"If the prophet (that is, the idolatrous prophet: see context) be deceived when he hath spoken a thing, I, the Lord, have deceived the prophet" (Ezekiel 14:9).

And again in the parable uttered before Ahab by Micaiah, the prophet of Yahweh:

"There came forth a spirit and stood before the Lord and said, I will persuade him (Ahab, to go up to battle). And the Lord said unto him, Wherewith? And he said, I will go forth and I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And he said, . . . Go forth and do so. Now, therefore, the Lord hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these thy prophets" (1 Kings 22:21-23).

Applying this principle to the case in hand, we may understand that God stirred up Rebekah to deceive Isaac, that Isaac might be defeated in the wrong use of the divine gift of blessing which rested upon him.

The difficulty in understanding such instances, arises principally from our preconceived notions on the subject of "morality." Human speculation, alias philosophy falsely so-called, has evolved the assumption that "morality" (as men speak) is a fixed element in the constitution of things; and to this "morality," they have imagined God is as much subject as His creatures. The fact is-as the Scriptures reveal and nature accurately studied attests-that there is no such thing as fixed morality at all. The question of right and wrong is determinable in all things by the appointment of the eternal Creator. It is a simple question of what He has commanded. With Him is sovereign and irresponsible authority.

"None may say unto Him, What doest Thou?"

He may command a man to kill, and it is then sin not to kill, as in the case of Saul with the Amalekites; and righteousness to kill, as in the case of Samuel with Agag, on the same occasion; while when He chooses to command, "Thou shalt not kill," he that even hates his brother becomes a murderer. This simple principle relieves the subject of the world of difficulty that human philosophy has created. It explains, too, how it is that the belief of the gospel is righteousness, and enables us to realise how unutterably out of the right way is the present generation, with all their educated contempt for the promises and the commandments of God.

The Ways of Providence

21 And Isaac said unto Jacob, Come near, I pray thee, that I may feel thee, my son, whether thou be my very son Esau or not.

The deception.

It is an interesting point whether Isaac was deceived, or suspected what was going on. He knew the voice was not Esau's, and he calculated that the venison had arrived very soon.ยท Maybe he even rumbled the camouflage, which was rather amateurish, and twigged that the goat's meat was not genuine venison. Yet he seemed to enjoy it with the wine (v.25).

Some of this must have aroused his suspicions, but recognised that the hand of God's providence at work, which is why he gave Jacob the blessing, and refused to change when Esau returned, even though Esau besought the blessing with strong crying and tears. Of course he could have been genuinely deceived in spite of suspicions (v.23). But it was all to the good since Jacob not Esau received the blessing.

Even so we know that there was tendency in Jacob to heel grab, and he paid dearly for it throughout much of his probation, as we are constantly tripped up by our inherent weaknesses and failings, and this is the exhortation for us. We have strengths - talents which we must put to the best service of Truth, but also inbuilt, inherent weaknesses of flesh, to overcome by the trial of our faith.

As David said (Pslm 26)

"Judge me, 0 Yahweh; for I have walked in mine integrity: I have trusted also in Yahweh; therefore I shall not slide. Examine me, O Yahweh, and prove me; try my reins and my heart'.

Bro Richard Lister -

The Apocalyptic Messenger, Oct 2016

#It seems unlikely that he 'rumbled the camouflage' in view of v32,33 '

'And Isaac trembled very exceedingly, and said, Who?'

28 Therefore Elohim give thee of the dew of heaven, and the fatness of the earth, and plenty of corn and wine:

Jerusalem has her times, and the Gentiles have theirs; but the two sets of times are not times of concurrent prosperity and triumph. On the contrary, when Jerusalem's polity is subject, her times are times of adversity; and those of the Gentiles relatively prosperous; and when she "arises and shines because her Light is come," she becomes victorious, and the Gentiles prostrate, according to the word of Isaac, who said to Jacob...

29 Let people serve thee, and nations bow down to thee: be Lord over thy brethren, and let thy mother's sons bow down to thee: cursed be every one that curseth thee, and blessed be he that blesseth thee.

Here was a blessing, contrary to the will of Isaac, pronounced upon Jacob, whom God had predetermined to bless to the same purpose. Truly,

"it is not of him that willeth, but of God that showeth mercy."

EIpis Israel 2.3.

32 And Isaac his father said unto him, Who art thou? And he said, I am thy son, thy firstborn Esau.

33 And Isaac trembled very exceedingly, and said, Who? where is he that hath taken venison, and brought it me, and I have eaten of all before thou camest, and have blessed him? yea, and he shall be blessed.

Esau had fully calculated on the blessing although he had bartered away his birthright, seeing that Isaac had promised to bestow it upon him on his return from the field. When, therefore, he entered to receive the blessing, and announced himself as the real Esau,

"Isaac trembled very exceedingly"

when he found that he had been imposed upon; nevertheless, he confirmed what he had done, saying,

"Yea, and he shall be blessed."

But the thing that was done could not be revoked, for the hand of God was in it.

Elpis Israel 2.3.

39 And Isaac his father answered and said unto him, Behold, thy dwelling shall be the fatness of the earth, and of the dew of heaven from above;

40 And by thy sword shalt thou [Esau] live, and shalt serve thy brother [Jacob]; and it shall come to pass when thou shalt have the dominion, that thou shalt break his yoke from off thy neck.

The dominions of the House of Esau, who lives by his sword, do not arise in times of tranquillity and calm; these times ensue only when the tumult and tempest of war are hushed; and then the conqueror can stand upon it, and sing the song of victory.

Dominions, in a world like this, can only be founded, and maintained by 'fire and brimstone". In the days of old, they were established by the sword, the spear, the battle-axe, and bow; but in modern times, victory is said to be on the side of the heaviest artillery; that is, where "the fire burning with brimstone" rages with the greatest intensity.

Yahweh Tz'vaoth, in the days of Joshua, established His kingdom in the Holy Land, by the sword of Israel, strengthened by His judgments poured out upon the helpless inhabitants of the country: so also it is to be in the day of Jesus, called "the Day of his power;" the kingdom is to be established in the same country by "fire burning with brimstone" in the hands of Israel, commanded by the Saints; and strengthened with the Eternal Power,

"who rideth upon the heaven in their help" (Deut. 33:26).

Eureka 15.2.

41 And Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing wherewith his father blessed him: and Esau said in his heart, The days of mourning for my father are at hand; then will I slay my brother Jacob.

Esau showed his character as a man of ungovernable natural impulse by vowing to kill Jacob as soon as his father should be out of the way. *

The one thing the Scriptures remember about Esau is that he "despised his birthright" the eldest son of the chosen family chosen to keep alive the Truth of God in the earth.

Today God has chosen a few and has revealed to them His way of life. Can it be that there are Esaus among them-too concerned about their mess of pottage to realize the great glory and responsibility of their call? Paul reminds all such that when it was too late,

Esau sought God's blessing in vain with bitter tears.

Bro Growcott - A New Name

44 And tarry with him a few days, until thy brother's fury turn away;

...These "few days" stretched into twenty long years, and some time during that weary waiting for the return of the son whom she loved, Rebekah appears to have fallen asleep. We are not told about her death. She never appears again, but her last words here have been the concern of many a faithful mother since-

Bro Growcott - A New Name

46 And Rebekah said to Isaac, I am weary of my life because of the daughters of Heth: if Jacob take a wife of the daughters of Heth, such as these which are of the daughters of the land, what good shall my life do me?

Jacob having been involuntarily appointed heir of the blessing by Isaac, Esau conceived a hatred of him, and was overheard to threaten him with death when their father was dead. This determination was reported to Rebekah, who, having sent for Jacob, informed him of Esau's malice, and advised him to escape into Mesopotamia, and remain awhile with her brother Laban at Haran, until his brother's fury should subside.

It was necessary, however, to get Isaac's consent, that no breach might be made between him and Jacob, for Esau was his favourite son. Rebekeh knew well how to manage this. Isaac as well as herself was sorely annoyed by Esau's wives, whose demeanour appears to have been very disgusting to them. She complained to Isaac of the grief they were to her, and declared to him that if Jacob were to take a wife from among the daughters of the land, her life would be of no value to her.

This being also Isaac's feelings in the case, he fell into her views immediately, and having called Jacob, he blessed him, and charged him, saying,

"Thou shalt not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan."

He then directed him to go and take a wife of Laban's family; and said,

"God Almighty bless thee, and make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, that thou mayest be a multitude of people: and give thee the blessing of Abraham, to thee, and to thy Seed with thee; that thou mayest inherit the land wherein thou art a stranger, which God gave unto Abraham" (Gen. 28:1-4).

Such was Isaac's understanding of the blessing in regard to the time of its accomplishment. He did not expect it until the Seed, or Christ, was manifested; but when he appeared in possession they, even Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, would be blessed with him.

Elpis Israel 2.3.

This speaks well concerning Rebekah's outlook. Her interests were wholly in the purpose of God. She knew her family were the chosen seed. So intense were her feelings about this

that if Jacob were to follow Esau and defile the line by alien marriage, Rebekah had no desire to live and witness her family's betrayal of the Divine trust and covenant.

Bro Growcott - A New Name